Front office raid?

The San Diego Chargers success over the last two years has meant opportunities for several coaches, regardless of whether they are hired away. James Lofton, the Bolts' receivers coach, interviewed with Buffalo but a less publicized story is a member of the front office staff garnering interest.

James Lofton met with the Bills on Thursday about their vacant head coaching position. Lofton, who played for Buffalo in 1990-92 for current general manager Marv Levy is one of four candidates who have interviewed with the club.

There does not appear to be a frontrunner, as the Bills have reportedly sought permission from Chicago to speak with their defensive coordinator, Ron Rivera.

Also in the mix are Bills special teams coordinator Bobby April, former Bears and Lions head coach Dick Jauron and former Packers coach Mike Sherman.

The front office member that is being courted is Fran Foley, the Chargers director of pro scouting. Foley, who just completed his third year with the Chargers in that capacity, has been interviewed by the Minnesota Vikings for a similar position.

Foley came to the Chargers from Jacksonville where he was the director of pro scouting for the Jaguars for five seasons.

The move is lateral in terms of position but could come with an upgrade from a monetary standpoint.

Foley is the top aid to general manager A.J. Smith in assigning values to free agents and assisting in their procurement. He and his staff, along with the final say from Smith, have searched out players with solid characters who are perceived to be on the rise. Steve Foley, signed as a free agent in March of 2004, was one of those players and he netted ten sacks for the club in 2004 as the team finished first in the AFC West.

The Vikings have interviewed at least three other interviews for the position and are expected to continue the search by bringing in several more candidates. Foley will likely head to the Senior Bowl with his current position still intact as the Vikings take their time naming their new personnel evaluator.

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